Essentials for Campesinos Who Can't Get to Market

Essentials for Campesinos Who Can't Get to Market

From Emily Conrad

With continued mounting COVID19 cases and health emergency measures still in place, campesino farmers in one of the poorest counties in Ecuador are growing desperate. Please help these farmers get through the pandemic.

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Dear family and friends,

We first want to extend a virtual hug to all of you. We want to recognize that we are all hurting directly or indirectly, whether physically, psychologically, and/or financially from the effects of COVID-19 and other current events in the U.S. But we hope that you are at least settled in the comfort of your home with plenty of food and connection to the outside world via internet and phone.   

Ecuador has been under strict, police-enforced “shelter in place” orders for over three months now, which has largely affected the food distribution system throughout the country, among many other essential systems and social supports (not the least of which being the healthcare and emergency response systems).   

For over three months, Chillanes County campesino and indigenous small farmers have found it very difficult to sell their produce and, for many, practically impossible to get to the populated centers to purchase food and basic essentials. Landowners have had to lay off day labors and with little access to income and markets, people are going hungry. Although there are fairly few COVID-19 cases in the county at this point, many people with chronic health conditions are suffering additionally from lack of access to medicine and medical care.  

We opened this donations campaign in April to support the farmers, for whom we care so much, survive this difficult time. We received an overwhelmingly generous response, and were able to coordinate four different types of donations that benefited five campesino and indigenous communities in the region. You can read about our first round of donations here.

After learning of the results of this first round of donations, many of our family and friends asked how they might contribute to the continuation of our work in supporting the campesino farmers of Chillanes County as the pandemic and its secondary effects wear on. We have opened up the campaign again to collect donations to provide support more support for communities in the county suffering from the COVID-19 effects.     

We will work with the municipal government, as we did the first time, to distribute these goods safely and expediently. 

We know many of you are very understandably concerned and even stretched financially right now, but if you have a few extra dollars to spare, it could make a world of difference for the Ecuadorian small farmers we care about so much. 

Thank you so much to all of you who have donated!  

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